Fan Culture / Featured / Local

Who do you love?

In February 2008, Philadelphia was officially awarded a MLS franchise. Only a few months earlier, the Philadelphia Eagles had finished at the bottom of their division. The Phillies were still licking their wounds after being unceremoniously swept out of the MLB playoffs by a surging Rockies team that would make it to the World Series before crumbling. The 76ers were probably doing something poorly somewhere.

The announcement that pro soccer was coming to Philly was a big shot in the arm for the city.

Yet, before the Union had even played a match, the Phillies were World Series champions, the Eagles were oh-so-close to the Super Bowl, and the 76ers were doing something poorly somewhere.

Philly always supported its sports teams (just nod basketball fans). But with so much sudden success for the Big Two, and with no soccer-specific stadium, would the Union still be able to win the city over?

Yes. And how.

But that was 2010. Most fans will admit that the team could have lost every game and sold out every match. The first go-around has novelty and excitement; the mere existence of a MLS team was enough to keep people chanting until the final whistle blew, long after the Union had been eliminated from playoff contention. The beautiful, new stadium opened, the tickets were cheap, and the ride out to Chester doesn’t seem all that long the first twelve times.

Now it is 2011.

The Phillies are back in the playoffs. In fact, they are far and away the best team in the National League. They have the best pitching rotation since Steve Avery disappeared from Atlanta into the cornfield. They picked up the best available player at the trade deadline. Anything less than a World Series win will be disappointing.

The Eagles picked up every NFL free agent that was good. They brought back one of the most exciting players ever to play quarterback, they have stars at every skill position, and they have the only coach who makes you start humming a certain catchy Beatles tune every time you see him.

The 76ers are doing something poorly somewhere, but they aren’t doing it as a team this time.

And the Union, after a season of exceedingly ugly yet supremely exciting soccer, are in the thick of the playoff hunt.

So who do you love?

When the Phils and the Union were on at the same time who did you watch? Sure this is the baseball playoffs, but a win would all but secure a postseason spot for the Union.

Who do you think about? Are the Union still as important to you as they were last year? Are you worn out by the long season? Sick of the Drunken Foosball offense?

It’s ok. Nobody will hold it against you. But now that the Union are firmly entrenched in the Philadelphia sports scene, it’s time to find out where they stand in the hierarchy.

Has your soccercitement waned with the arrival of football season and the baseball playoffs? Have you changed all your passwords from DOOP to DOC? Are you playing FIFA or Madden?

Now that it’s crunch time in the Philadelphia sports world: Who do you love?


  1. Personally, while I am still a 5 for 5 Philly fan and love every team in this city, right now I consider myself a Union fan first.
    I’m still technically new to soccer, I wasn’t always a fan, and maybe I am still in the honeymoon period, but the excitement of waiting for a soccer game every week (and especially now in a playoff chase) still excites me. And honestly, right now I am looking forward more to the Union game than the Phillies game.

  2. I love them all. I feel the most responsibility to the Union as a season ticket holder but I watched the Phillies playoff game while tracking the Union vs. Chivas game, not the other way around.

  3. If I had to rate my sports preferences it would be as follows:

  4. Two sports for me Hockey and Soccer… Basketball when it is played well and well yea. Basteball is the most boring sport in the world and it reached the point where I am now rooting against the Eagles because is there anything funnier than watching fat south jersey dudes with Andy Reid mustaches cry… I think not.

  5. Union, Union, Union, Union, Union, Union, Union, Union, Eagles, Phillies, 76’ers

  6. This past Sunday, I was the guy at the bar staring at the solitary, relatively small TV tucked away in the corner that was playing the Union game while everyone else was watching the Phils. I support all Philly teams – even you, Sixers – but nothing comes before the U.

  7. Ed Farnsworth says:

    Union, Union Reserves, Independence, 700 FC, Philly Soccer Firm, West Philly FC, Phillies

  8. I’m Union til I die!

    The thing that stands out to me about the Union is the way the players and FO do the little things with fans to help create and nurture a bond with their customers. Things like the whole team clapping the fans after EVERY home game or the team’s best player signing autographs and posing for pictures after running his ass off for 90+ minutes or the entire team signing all the autographs for fans after a friendly in Harrisburg or Reading.

    Love the Phils and the Ravens, but they come in a distant second behind the U.

  9. Long suffering Sixers fan here. I root for all the Philly teams, but barely pay attention to the Flyers until late in the playoffs, zone in and out with the Phillies until the Playoffs, and stick with the Eagles till the inevitable let down.

    My main two teams are the U and the Sixers, though. What can I say, I’m a hoops guy. But the game day experience at Union games just can’t be beat.

  10. Union #1. I’m not a Founding Member of any of my other favorites. I feel like I have a vested interest in the U. I yell louder and longer at PPL Park than anywhere else. I look forward to Union matches like nothing else and by first kick the anticipation has me ready to explode.

    COME ON THE U!!!

  11. Someone forgot to mention the third most popular team in the city, that’s odd.

    In a year and a half the Union went from #7 on my list of local teams that I root for to #2. I’ve been a diehard Phillies fan since I was a little kid so I doubt they’ll ever be topped.

    That said, I still watched the U on Sunday night.

  12. i watched the union. i support all of them but soccer is best.

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